Thursday, July 21, 2011

Oh, sure. I'm the crazy one.

 Spotting a dachshund.
It’s 90 degrees out today and so humid that you could bottle the air. On the phone this afternoon, I told my mom that I had taken Charlie for a run in the jogging stroller, and before I even finished my sentence, she said, “You’re nuts.” I made sure she knew that I’d coated the baby in three tubes of zinc-based, non-toxic sunscreen, and that I’d run down the shadiest streets I could find, into the breeze when possible so that Charlie could feel the wind in his curls. “Oh, good,” she responded. “You’re nuts.”

It wasn’t the first time I’d heard that message today, either. In the middle of our jog, my friend Erin slowed to a stop in her air-conditioned car and rolled down the window. We trotted up to the driver’s side and I said, “Hey, Erin!” She smiled and said, “You’re nuts.” About three blocks later, a guy at a stop sign shook his head at me and made the “crazy” sign (i.e., point at head, trace a small circle in the air). Very slowly, he mouthed the words, “Yoooou’re nuuuts.”

Then, off in the distance, I spotted a woman coming toward us with her stroller. At last! A compatriot! “This’ll be great!” I thought. “We’ll have a nice bonding moment. Maybe one of us will say, ‘Nice day for a run,’ and the other will laugh a little.” I trudged along, buoyed by the anticipation of a few steps of companionship.

And then, we were upon them and I made several realizations all at once. One: The lady wasn’t running. Two: In her cushy stroller, the lady was pushing a small, froufy dog. Three: Clipped onto the sunshade and directed at the dog were two small, battery-powered fans.

As Charlie kicked his legs and cooed, the dog stared at us and let out one quick yip. “Yeah, yeah,” I said under my breath. “I’m nuts.”

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